Meet the COSBOA Team
Chief Executive Officer
Luke Achterstraat has over a decade of experience in policy, advocacy and government. He has advised two federal government ministers and appeared before parliamentary inquiries on behalf of both federal and state industry groups. Most recently he was the NSW Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia and was also appointed by the NSW Government as the inaugural Chair of the NSW Expert Housing Advisory Panel. Luke is passionate about small business, having helped co-found and lead the talent disruption business Commtract. His grandfather emigrated to Australia from the Netherlands in 1951 and started a small business, a legacy that helps inform Luke on the vital role small businesses play in building livelihoods and communities across Australia.
Chair & Director
Matthew Addison is the Executive director and previous CEO of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. He trained as a Chartered Accountant in Practice which led to establishing his own small business accounting practice from 1993 until 2008. He has worked intensely with small business, advisers to small business, the tax office and multi-levels of government as an advocate and stakeholder voice.
Deputy Chair & Director
Wes is the former CEO of the 2020 Association of the Year, Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA), the national industry association representing the interests of more than 48,000 restaurants, cafés, and catering businesses across Australia. Wes is IFRS CPA Qualified, a Fellow of the Governance Institute, recently earned his Certified Association Executive accreditation and for over 20 years, has progressively built his executive-level change management, lobbying, negotiation, governance, finance & accounting experience in diverse roles across multiple industries and sectors around the globe and enjoys the art of deal-making. He was also named an AuSAE Influencer for 2020.
Director and Treasurer
Christine Pope is a Director and Treasurer of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society and holds formal qualifications in Commerce (B. Comm UNSW) and Health Sciences (B. Health Science Comp Med 2010). She was elected to the COSBOA Board in 2019. The Australian Traditional Medicine Society represents over 10,000 practitioners of natural medicine around Australia.
Ben Kearney is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Lottery and Newsagents’ Association (ALNA), the peak national industry body for Australia’s newsagents and lottery agents, and influential authority on small business. Having spent more than 10 years at ALNA, Ben has been instrumental in some of the biggest legislative changes to help ALNAs members.
Simon is the Chair of the Government Relations Sub-Committee and Immediate Past president of the Digital Service Providers Association (DSPAANZ). Professionally, GM Product – eInvoicing at Xero, and previously ran a small technology business, Shoeboxed Australia, from 2010 until selling in 2020. Simon has direct experience of the challenges of small business both as an owner and as a service provider. Simon is the Treasurer of the Pearcey Foundation (Australian ICT public policy non-profit) and holds several governance roles at OpenPeppol (global eInvoicing standards & governance body), sits on the Commonwealth Business Registry Service Strategic Council, co-chair the ATO DSP Strategic Working Group and co-chair the ANZ Peppol All Stakeholders Working Group. Australian small businesses lead the world in the adoption of business management software such as cloud accounting. Driven by ATO compliance activities like eTax, Superstream, and STP, most small businesses are online courtesy of effective communications from their trusted advisors - bookkeepers, accountants, and industry associations. There is more work to be done as government and enterprise undertake digital transformation sometimes ignoring the impact on small business.
Andrew Ngeow has been a pharmacist with nearly 30 years of community pharmacy, gained in Australia and the United Kingdom., a small business owner since 1999, and since 2018 has been President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA Branch. Andrew gained a B. Pharmacy at Curtin University in 1993 and was employed at pharmacies in Perth and in the United Kingdom before purchasing his first pharmacy in 1999. He retains ownership of that pharmacy and has expanded his business through successfully managing and operating several pharmacies in metropolitan Perth. His commitment to business excellence was rewarded in 2016, with one of his pharmacies being awarded the National Pharmacy of the Year. Andrew was elected to the Branch Committee of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA Branch in 2008 and since 2018 has been the WA Branch President. Andrew is passionate about fostering, developing, and advocating for the personal and professional development of the sector and the next generation of pharmacists.
Adele was appointed the Head of Legal and Policy for Direct Selling Australia in 2018 and advocates at the state and federal levels for 50 members and the 350,000 independent contractors that work with them. Adele is admitted as a solicitor in NSW South Wales and England and Wales. Prior to her current role, Adele spent over a decade working as a senior lawyer in the Regulatory Law teams at international law firms in London and Sydney specialising in privacy, trade, competition, and consumer law. She conducted investigations, defended regulatory prosecutions, analysed markets for merger applications, and implemented compliance strategies. She was also registered as a migration agent for three years and has a keen interest in migration matters. Adele understands that regulatory changes have a profound impact on small businesses and regularly advocates for reductions in red tape to ease compliance burdens. She is currently appointed to standing consultative committees of the ATO and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Ann has been part of the senior management team at Massage & Myotherapy Australia for 14 years, initially Association Manager. As the CEO Ann works closely with the Board developing and implementing priorities, strategy, policy, and programs to further the interests of Massage & Myotherapy's 8,500 members and the Association. Including building alliances with like-minded stakeholders across a range of sectors. Ann values collaboration and relationship-building and strives to achieve excellence in organisational management and creating a better workplace for team members and the business to thrive. Ann holds a BComm (Human Resources Management/Administration Management), Certificate in Governance Practice and Diploma of Quality Auditing. Ann is also a member of the AICD and AHRI and has previously held roles in Not-For-Profit, Education, and Commercial organisations